Catching Up on Orwell's Favorite Year: Kinski Coos, Barneveld Rebuilds, Gary Hart Counts to '88 and a Goldberg Makes Whoopi on Broadway
updated 12/24/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 12/24/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST
After nine years on the lam, American Indian activist Dennis Banks (May 28) surrendered to South Dakota authorities in September. Banks had jumped bail in 1975 after being convicted of assault and riot charges stemming from a demonstration in Custer, S.Dak. in 1973. Though safe on the Onondaga Indian reservation near Syracuse, N., he eventually wearied of his isolation and inability to travel freely. "Time had taken its toll," he says. Fellow activist Russell Means, fearing for Banks' life in prison, had tried to talk his friend out of surrendering. But Banks, now serving a three-year term in the South Dakota Penitentiary, says, "If guards felt like injuring me, I wanted to meet them face to face. So far they are not treating me any worse or better than anybody else." Banks, 52, coaches the Native American basketball team (215 of his 885 fellow inmates are Indians) and participates in Indian ceremonies. His wife and their four children visit weekends, driving 350 miles each way from their home in Rapid City.
Chalk up three more wins for Regina Federico, the pudgy-cheeked 4-year-old who had bagged 86 local, state or national beauty titles when PEOPLE took note of her competitive prowess (June 4). Since then Regina's mother, Dolly, has resisted entreaties from an army of agents. She will consider only "decent commercials" for her daughter and "no movies that anybody's swearing in." But fame has taken some of the joy out of victory. Sniping from "vicious and jealous mothers" has persuaded Dolly to cut back on Regina's schedule.
"I wish that things were simple, like they were in the beginning," says 12-year-old Trevor Ferrell (March 26), whose campaign to help Philadelphia's homeless has had consequences both bitter and sweet. A year ago Trevor saw a TV-news segment about the plight of the city's street people and persuaded his parents to take him to the scene to donate a pillow and blanket. Public reaction was instantaneous. The Ferrells have received $44,000 in cash contributions, plus enough clothing to fill the basement of their comfortable home in suburban Gladwyne. Some 75 volunteers, many from well-to-do Main Line families, now cook hot meals that are distributed nightly by the Ferrells and their helpers from the back of a donated van, and a church group has contributed an old rooming house to the cause.
Yet despite a movie deal and a book contract worth some $75,000 combined, the Ferrells feel financially pinched. Trevor's father, Frank, temporarily closed his small electronics firm in May to work on Trevor's campaign. But with three children in private schools and mortgage payments to meet, the family quickly exhausted its savings. "We're now living off friends and funds from the Gladwyne Presbyterian Church," says Frank. Worse, Trevor's mother, Janet, was attacked by a street person; though shaken, she suffered no injuries. Trevor, meanwhile, is struggling with a learning disability and repeating sixth grade, so his parents restrict his mercy missions to two nights a week. The Ferrells aren't giving up, but their work "is hard on the family," admits Frank. "I don't want to live on charity for much longer."
Despite a $500 raise in September that lifted her salary to $6,800 a year, Janice Herbranson of McLeod, N.Nak. suspects she is still America's lowest-paid teacher. A PEOPLE profile (Feb. 6) brought Herbranson, 50, several book and movie offers and about 500 letters, including one from President Reagan, who wrote, "You reaffirm my belief that America has many unsung heroes.... I cannot think of a better example for children to emulate." Sadly, enrollment at McLeod's one-room schoolhouse slipped from five to three children this term, and unless a new family moves in, the school will close in June. But Herbranson won't stop working. She has applied through the Christian Service Corps to continue teaching in either South America or Africa.
When Christopher Vollan was born last year with a gaping hole in his lower back, a victim of the crippling birth defect spina bifida, his parents, Barbara and Michael, were stunned (May 28). But the Chicago couple quickly approved emergency surgery and continuing treatment for the infant, who has grown into a strapping 1-year-old. Christopher, who will eventually walk with supports, impressed technicians with his upper-body strength when he was fitted for plastic-and-Velcro braces to help him stand. Though he has suffered two urinary tract infections (a common problem in cases of spinal cord injuries and paralysis), he remains happy, bright and assertive. His clubfoot has been almost completely corrected by surgery. Though Michael Vollan still sometimes feels anger when he thinks of his son's future, he and his wife have made their adjustments, and Barbara, particularly, seems energized by the challenge of bringing up Christopher. "The time has gone so fast," she says. "I'm happier and more confident than I've ever been."
Björn Borg's romance with 17-year-old model Jannike Björling (Sept. 10) seems to be a family affair. The retired 28-year-old tennis star has made himself a regular guest in the house near Stockholm where Jannike lives with her mother, two younger sisters and a grandmother who is taking up tennis. Borg's divorce from Mariana Simionescu, 27, is expected to become final this month.
For years most Israelis have regarded Brooklyn-born Rabbi Meir Kahane and his anti-Arab fanaticism as "sick, but marginal and harmless," as Israel's attorney general, Yitzhak Zamir, recently put it. But Kahane's election to the Knesset after a fractious campaign (July 30) has changed that. "He is now a threat to the social order and we must act," says Zamir, who has drafted a resolution enabling police to bar Kahane, 52, from Arab settlements for a year. Presumably with Kahane in mind, the Knesset has given its chairman the power to expel temporarily members who make racist remarks and to block the introduction of racist legislation, such as Kahane's proposal to establish a Jewish-Arab apartheid.
Sounding, one witness said, "like a dozen express trains," a tornado ripped through little Barneveld, Wis. on June 8, destroying all but 25 of the town's 225 houses in a matter of seconds (July 9). Nine of its 607 residents were killed; 88 others were injured. But even as workers boarded up buildings, they scrawled a promise: "We're not giving up, we're going on."
Indeed Barneveld has risen phoenixlike from its rubble. Fire Chief Bud Evans, who owns a construction company, has hired eight new employees and has crews working 15-hour days to finish new homes. The town's new library and post office are open, a commercial park and a medical clinic are going up, and the roof that blew off the school has been replaced. School administrator Dan Woll is grateful to be "back to dealing with the same problems I had last year."
Despite the progress, about 20 families are still living in trailers provided by the federal government, and tempers have flared over delays in receiving U.S. relief funds. "We're ticked off because it's taking too long," says village board member Dan Williams. Adds the Rev. Mitzi Eilts of the Church World Service, "There has been a recovery, but it has come hard." Still no one has given up. Doug and Tory Manteufel, who married the day after the twister, plan to start building a home next summer. On their first anniversary they hope finally to hold their wedding reception—in the rebuilt American Legion Hall.
Much as she did after her husband, Robert, was assassinated in 1968, Ethel Kennedy has buried her unhappiness in relentless public activity since her son David, 28, the fourth of her 11 children, died of a drug overdose in a Palm Beach hotel room (May 14). She sees friends regularly at Hickory Hill, the family home in McLean, Va., plays tennis with her customary ferocity and accepts life—and death—philosophically. "Nothing really slows her down," says a friend. "She thinks David's up there with his father now, and his Uncle Jack, and that they're all happier than they would be on earth." Yet when Ethel, 56, rose at Hickory Hill to make some remarks at the annual RFK Book Award luncheon, which she had postponed from May to September, she broke down after a few words. Rushing to her side, family members helped her regain her composure, but for one brief moment her grief stood revealed.
After 4-year-old Katie Rebstock of Palmyra, N.Y. was killed in an automobile accident last February, her parents, Jacqueline and Phil, donated her organs to four needy people. Katie's heart and liver went to Stormie Dawn Jones, now 7, of Dallas, who was dying of a rare heart-destroying genetic disorder. Even before Stormie resumed first grade last fall (Oct. 8), her mother, Susie, wanted to thank the Rebstocks in person, and the Rebstocks wanted to meet Stormie. They got their chance in November when the syndicated Hour Magazine TV series brought the families together in California. "I had a little speech all planned," says Susie, "but when the time came I was speechless. I just hugged and kissed them. I told them Stormie's not just my little girl, she's oar little girl." Jackie Rebstock's most emotional moment came, she says, when "I pressed my hand to Stormie's chest. I could feel Katie's heart beating. Meeting Stormie has done a tremendous amount of good for us. I'm just in awe, really, of what Katie has accomplished."
Early this year a 12-year-old girl identified publicly only as Amy (Jan. 30) spent eight days in a cell in California's Solano County Juvenile Hall rather than testify against her stepfather, who had confessed to sexually molesting her. Finally she was released and the sex charges were dropped. Amy's mother and stepfather, a physician, have since moved to a new town, but Amy chose to remain with her grandparents. Under a new California law, children may now in certain cases give evidence in preliminary hearings without appearing in court. But the law that led to Amy's confinement—which required her stepfather's therapist to report the case to the police—is unchanged. Says Amy's therapist, Dr. Loretta Haroian, "She has more resentment toward the court than for her stepfather."
AIDS patient Steven Klein (Jan. 30) has remained remarkably cheerful despite a year that most people would consider a reasonable approximation of hell. He was hospitalized in April when drugs he was taking for a fungus infection, some of them experimental, turned him temporarily incoherent. "They tied me down to protect me," he says, "but I chewed through the strap." Last fall Klein, 35, was hospitalized again, with a fungal meningitis. Antibiotics were injected directly below his skull. Because of nerve involvement he has severe double vision, so he rarely drives. "It's not fun not being able to really live," he says. "But I'm in no rush to go skydiving." He is reasonably optimistic about AIDS research. "I don't have high hopes for a cure, but maybe for treatment to restore immunity so you can go longer without catching something. I have the most hope that they'll find a vaccine to prevent AIDS."
When the phone rings in Nick Apollo Forte's house in Waterbury, Conn, he answers with a hearty "Do you need a star?" Nick's available. Not that he hasn't had a busy year since stealing Woody Allen's Broadway Danny Rose with a semiautobiographical turn as a cocktail lounge crooner (Feb. 27). In his first flush of fame Nick did Carson. "He asked me how much I got for doing weddings, and I said, 'I don't do weddings.' He just looked at me. Then I said, '$100.' He said, 'Is that what you get?' I said, 'Yeah, I already told you that.' It broke him up." Then Neil Sedaka asked Nick to talk to his daughter's classmates at New York's Dalton School. "It was a very big rap session," says Nick. He even did an NBC pilot called Why Me? Okay, James Coco got the part in the end, but Nick can be philosophical: "The character was a nice guy. Maybe they wanted more of a wimp, I don't know." In the long run, he's sure, everything's going to be coming up roses. "I met this guy in New York yesterday. He's had the biggest names in the business. He said, 'I want you to know, Nick, that think you have the potential to be a star.' " So what else is new?
Nine-year-old Joy Spering (March 26) has never known the meaning of quit. After losing her left foot and some of her right leg to a rare and excruciatingly painful blood disorder, Joy won the double-amputee slalom title in a Pennsylvania meet last year and this year, and will be going for three in a row next March. In the meantime she is playing "every position" in soccer at her Moorestown, N.J. elementary school.
PEOPLE'S profile of Joy brought her hundreds of encouraging letters, plus a phone call from an Arizona man who thought his child had the same disease. "He wanted us to know the story gave him hope," says Joy's mother, Karen. Joy was also invited to tour the West Coast headquarters of Warner Bros., which records her favorite group, Van Halen. Joy had lunch in the studio commissary and was duly impressed. "It certainly was as good as McDonald's," she says.
"It's easier than I expected," says Monaco's Princess Caroline of motherhood (June 25). Since bearing a son, Andrea Albert, after marrying Italian entrepreneur Stefano Casiraghi in December, Caroline has been waxing lyrical about Pablum. Andrea, who has mommy's tilted nose and gray eyes, made his public debut during a national holiday in November, drooling at the crowd from the palace balcony. Grandpa, Prince Rainier, recently approved Mongégaque citizenship for Andrea's daddy—first step, some court watchers say, toward an eventual title.
Mavis Noble is still standing by her man. In October she and nine of her husband's friends and business associates flew from California to Washington, D.C. to speak on behalf of the man they knew as caring, responsible Mike Noble. They were stunned when federal marshals arrested Noble (June 25), a 51-year-old Silicon Valley electronics executive, after identifying him as Walter Parman, a 1972 escapee from Virginia's Lorton Reformatory. Before he escaped, Parman had been serving a life sentence for the 1965 murder of a State Department secretary. Despite his friends' testimony and more than 50 letters praising his character, Parman was sentenced to an additional 20 months to five years for his flight. Back at Lorton, Parman—who has had a movie offer and now spends much of his time scrawling his life story on legal pads—writes to Mavis, 52, about four times a week. "He tells me his tears could fill the jail," she says. A home nurse who suffers from severe arthritis, she is embittered by her husband's fate. "I feel the 12 years he lived out here should account for something," she says.
This is not the winter of Sen. Gary Hart's discontent. Though he failed to win the Democratic nomination for President after his stunning rise in the early primaries (March 26), "Gary believes he is perfectly positioned for 1988," says a confidant. By making 120 appearances for the Mondale-Ferraro ticket in 30 states, Hart collected some important political IOUs. "Gary surprised a lot of people," says Democratic political consultant Robert Squier. "He did everything he was asked to do." Now, adds California Congressman Mel Levine, "People are beginning to rethink his argument that he was the strongest candidate." Less sanguine observers predict the Coloradan won't even risk a Senate reelection bid in 1986—after barely winning in 1980. Hart's immediate task is to pay off his $3.5 million presidential campaign debt. He'll put a drop in that bucket after Christmas by holding a sweepstakes drawing for his prized 1975 Mustang.
Fontaine the erudite junkie and Ugmo the washed-up tap dancer, among other savory and unsavory characters, made it to Broadway in October in the person of their creator, actress-comedienne Whoopi Goldberg (May 28), star of a one-woman show. An heir to the vérité style of Richard Pryor and Lily Tomlin, Whoopi had already performed in Steven Spielberg's home screening room for the likes of Quincy Jones, Jon Peters and Michael Jackson. Success hasn't changed her. Sometimes she hires a limo, mostly because New York cabbies seem disinclined to stop for her. And she's helped some artist friends pay their rent. "I once had someone send me $300," she says. "I never knew who it was."
When Jennie Naffie, 37, asked her parents what they wanted for Christmas this year, she recalls, "Mom said all she wanted was not to have it." Bette Naffie's dread is easily understood. Last Christmas the close-knit Naffie clan of Manistee, Mich, paid tribute in song and poetry to Jennie's sister Marilyn, 27, who had died in April 1983 of a mysterious disease resulting in heart muscle damage. Of Bette and Dominic Naffie's nine remaining children, two others were also suffering from the ailment. David, 20, died suddenly 12 days after Christmas, while Carol, then 30, still weak and in pain after 78 days of hospitalization, bravely went ahead with plans to marry her fiancé, Ron Steinberg (Feb. 13).
In her first year of marriage, Carol, says Jennie, has learned to "cook like an angel and sew beautifully. She stays on top of what's going on in the world. She's so happy with Ron. I think she has more peace within herself than the rest of us do." Next month doctors are considering implanting a pacemakerlike device in Carol's chest, hoping it will prevent the kind of cardiac attack that killed Marilyn and David.
Last June brought the Naffies additional sorrow and one note of joy. When tests revealed that another of their children, Anne, 27, had developed the disease, she and husband Stephen Mirretti, who live in Tempe, Ariz., abandoned plans to start a family. Two weeks later her sister Cathy Giammalva, 26, gave birth to a daughter, Cara, in Ludington, Mich.
The approach of the Christmas holidays this year finds the family "all a little frightened, to tell the truth," Jennie admits. "I've wanted to write a poem like did last year, but I've hesitated to do it because—I don't know, is this going to be a tradition now? That every Christmas we write a poem about someone we lost? Well, I know there are going to be tears. I don't think we're going to try to hide them."